© Photography Mathieu Génon

A book which answers
your questions

High level musician
High level musician

From warming up to dealing with stress before a competition, Coralie Cousin, physiotherapist for musicians and specialist in musicians'health issues such as pain and tendinitis, tells you everything in her book « The Musician a high-level Athlete ». Aimed at musicians experiencing pain due to extensive practice of their instrument, this book contains thorough advice with illustrations so that readers feel confident about putting the suggestions into practice.

Coralie Cousin

Coralie Cousin

A graduate in physiotherapy, Coralie Cousin has been a specialist in the retraining of musicians' hands for twenty years.
She has opened her own « Musicians Clinic » in the 13th district of Paris in France. She has treated over 3 000 musicians and is the official therapist for musicans at the renowned École Normale de Musique de Paris Alfred Cortot as well as for the National Orchestra d'Ile-de-France.
Through numerous articles, conferences and interviews on radio and television, she offers help and guidance to musicians in order to prevent musculoskeletal disorders.

Disclaimer

The main purpose of this site is to further your knowledge of health problems.
The information and advice provided here will never substitute those of your medical advisor. They are intended to enlighten you and help you make the right decisions, but they do not replace a consultation with your medical doctor.

Physiotherapist for musicians

New address : 5 cité Riverin 75010 Paris

If you're a musician suffering from stiffness, fatigue, a feeling of heaviness and loss of dexterity Coralie Cousin, physiotherapist specializing in musicians' health, offers her guidance.
How do you cope with practising, playing or recording with tendinitis in your elbow or shoulder joint, for example, or with a sprained wrist or even a fracture of a recently consolidated finger?

Coralie Cousin helps you find solutions to eliminate physical pain and be able to carry on practising your instrument. On this website, you'll find valuable information on finding the right person to turn to : a specialized therapist. You'll also discover emergency measures as well as invaluable preventive tips for good posture.

Patricia Nagle

Patricia Nagle

© Photography

Ryo Kojima - violon,  Miho Tokaji - piano, Masaki Kumazawa - violoncelle et Ikuya Tabaka - alto / Festival musical 'Shimanami' à Onomichi

Ryo Kojima, Miho Tokaji, Masaki Kumazawa et Ikuya Tabaka

© Photography Mr.Masayuki Nagai

Jazz

Katy Roberts Quintet

© Photography

Spirit Tango

Spirit Tango

© Photography

Taking preventive action

« Avoiding pain is vital. You have to feel at ease with your body and not start playing an instrument with a faulty position. Above all, being properly placed is what matters most!
Searching for the right sound determines the position a musician adopts.
If this position is physiologically correct, repetitive movements will form an integral part of the music making process and the sound produced will be all the more true.
On the other hand, an incorrect position can hinder musicians in their search for the right sound. When a position is no longer physiologically correct, for various individual reasons, repetitive movements become the cause of wear and even traumas, which can, in turn, alter the sound. »

Everyone has an equilibrium of their own

« Some very famous musicians have a very bad position, and yet it does not make them less brilliant. As a musician, it is fundamental for you to have a good posture. It gives you a solid structure to work from, and allows you to use your full potential.
Finding one's balance and then maintaining it for as long as necessary requires a huge amount of bodily concentration. Every musician finds his own balance, which is not necessarily the same as someone else's. What is good for one is not necessarily the same for another. »

Don't confuse slumping with releasing

« If before playing, you let yourself go by pushing your body downwards towards the ground, you must absolutely correct this, as it is a misinterpretation of the body. Most of the time you are not aware of it, but your teacher can see it. You often do this believing that you are relaxing, but in fact it has nothing to do with the physical sensation of releasing. Having a precise, relaxed and supple movement pattern, is what is essential. »

From automatic reflexes to traumas

« You have to accept reality: when an automatic movement or reflex creates an injury, the body immediately understands and the perturbation is reflected in the sound produced. To be able to play, a musician uses a shortcut with his body, just as one does on a computer keyboard. If this shortcut creates a muscular imbalance, then a period of physical therapy is needed. This will allow the musician to find the correct biomechanics that will over time become natural. »

To become aware of one's suffering

« Old reflexes and habits occur once you get involved only in the musical aspect of your work, you are more in the world of imagination and sensitivity than aware of your physical and kinesthetic sensations.
An athlete who suffers says so immediately. As opposed to musicians suffering in silence without being even being aware of it. You may perhaps hear that you are not producing a clear sound. So don't do the mistake of forcing yourself and increasing your practice time. The pain that arises is a message that your body is sending you; be attentive to those signals.
If one joins together physical sensations and a clear sound production, then there is an alchemy. Everything finally becomes natural. »

The correct posture is important

« From an early age, learning repetitive movements to produce certain sounds is based on physical sensations, which are based on precise anatomical and physiological facts.
Being aware of these facts and taking them into account will allow a musician, over a period of time, to find a harmonious balance between body and instrument, so that playing becomes a natural habit.
One must not forget that this chemistry is unique, that it is linked to a complex reality, but that everyone is aiming for the same thing: transmitting emotion through sound. »

Excerpt from the book : « The Musician a High-level Athlete » Editions Ad-Hoc.

Disclaimer

The main purpose of this site is to further your knowledge of health problems.
The information and advice provided here will never substitute those of your medical advisor. They are intended to enlighten you and help you make the right decisions, but they do not replace a consultation with your medical doctor.